Mothering Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm curious, for those of you who have had babies in the hospital during the first weeks and months, if you chose not to vaccinate, how easy it was for you to get the hospital to respect your decision. I feel like we won't get a lot of flack for refusing the hep b vaccine at birth, but as time goes by I worry that it'll be really difficult to hold our ground with other vaccines. I felt like I had done so much homework and really came to an educated decision on the subject, but I'm worried I won't be strong enough when I'm in a situation where I'll feel like a hospital staff is co-parenting. Even if I were considering an alternate schedule, which I have at times, I don't know that I would feel comfortable subjecting a little immune system to something as taxing as vaccines when he's already going to be fighting to repair himself after surgeries and such. I already know I'm going to be that weird mother with all the quirks (use my chlorine-free diapers, don't use your chemical-laden soaps and lotions on my baby's skin, fragrance-free eco wipes only, please! And if you run out of breast milk please make sure you use soy formula for his g-tube - we're vegan!) and I'm sure once I start rocking the boat with the vaccine issue it'll be met with some resistance. I felt confident with the idea of standing my ground with a pediatrician, but a staff of nurses who I will be seeing for hours every day...? I anticipate it being really hard. Any advice on the subject?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,834 Posts
Well, I'm in Mainstream, USA but because my pregnancy was high-risk, I was in a hospital that had a large and high-level NICU. They never even thought to consider vaxing him. They knew we didn't want any shots, but seriously--they never said word one about it. And mine had no surgeries (although he had a chest tube and feeding tube).<br><br>
And forget soy milk: if you are running low on breastmilk, TELL ME! Mine got breastmilk only in his tube and they heavily encouraged it because they knew it was best for his health. Of course, this shocked me given where I live.<br><br>
You need to keep in mind that at the end of the day, you're the parent. Period. Find a pediatrician NOW that you feel confident will support your desire not to vax and the rest of your parenting decisions. That's who they're going to call for consults if they can't get you.<br><br>
And don't assume they're going to push you. I was stunned at my experience. I'm still stunned. You may run into a know-it-all nurse or two but you might find that the NICU staff is supportive overall. Or they may at least know their place in the parenting decisions.<br><br>
Since I have no idea which you will face, I also want to remind you to hold fast to what's in your heart and don't let anyone bully you into second-guessing yourself. I did. It was a mistake that almost killed my son because he had an undetected immune deficiency such that the vaxes almost killed him. I allowed myself to second-guess my instincts because I felt like I didn't have "enough" research to argue with. My son is now 6yo and I no longer feel the need to provide explanations for my decisions. I'm the parent and it's my legal right to make these decisions. The law doesn't dictate that I provide explanations for those decisions. Don't feel like you need to defend yours if you're not comfortable doing so or if it's just a gut feeling. That actually IS enough.<br><br>
Hugs to you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
932 Posts
This may not be welcome advice, but I'm going to say it anyway--pick your battles. That's just my take, anyway.<br><br>
I don't know if this is your first child or not, but the NICU thing is a whole other planet. There is a NICU forum; those ladies can help you more with NICU-specific stuff.<br><br>
My twins were in the NICU for three months following their premature birth. In my state, they could not vaccinate without my consent.<br><br>
My concerns were my breastmilk and circumcision--they were not to be given any formula without my knowledge and consent and they were not to be circumcised. All of my other personal stuff--cloth diapering, chlorine-free diapers, wipes, fragrance free baby wash--had to wait until we got home.<br><br>
Yes, you have the right to have everything as you want it, but my personal opinion is that bugging them about every little thing (eco wipes, for example) is not in anyone's best interest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,558 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BetsyNY</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15426385"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This may not be welcome advice, but I'm going to say it anyway--pick your battles. That's just my take, anyway.<br><br>
My concerns were my breastmilk and circumcision--they were not to be given any formula without my knowledge and consent and they were not to be circumcised. All of my other personal stuff--cloth diapering, chlorine-free diapers, wipes, fragrance free baby wash--had to wait until we got home.<br><br>
Yes, you have the right to have everything as you want it, but my personal opinion is that bugging them about every little thing (eco wipes, for example) is not in anyone's best interest.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I'm not a NICU parent but I'm inclined to agree; emphasize what is most important to you. I would post on the NICU board and your tribal area (see if anyone has used your NICU). You may find that they do some things already like using fragrance free soap or not vaccinating NICU babies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,911 Posts
You might be surprised...being in the NICU, it's not likely that your baby will be exposed to a lot of the stuff they vaccinate for anyway, you know? Hospitals are dirty places, yes, but they're full of staph and strep, not usually rota, pneumococcal, HiB, etc. Your baby will be confined to his own isolette, with contact precautions, and everyone entering the NICU will be required to be healthy, to "scrub in", and to not touch anything other than their baby's area. Now, if a baby comes in to the NICU with a specific contagious disease, then you can make a decision.<br><br>
The drs may bring it up, but you can stick to your guns and just say "we want to focus all our efforts on getting him healthy, we'll talk about preventative measures when he's close to discharge, or we'll discuss it with our ped after he is discharged." And just say it over and over and over.<br><br>
Of course, since you have to work closely with these people for a while, try not to make it combative, like the PP said, pick your battles. I hung signs on my son's crib that said "breastmilk only" "no circ" "no Hep B" etc and then I had a close relationship with the nurses, they knew that nothing was a "matter of course" with me, that I wanted to know everything, that I wanted to be involved, etc. I tried not to be a pain, I would even say "I'm not trying to be difficult, I'm sorry, I just want to be involved, and I want to help."<br><br>
(By the way, nurses love it if you feed them, a plate of cookies goes a long way towards building good rapport with them!) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,130 Posts
We had no issues with NICU staff regarding vaccination. Later on down the road, some minor issues came up but than has been more recently (DS is 2). Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,948 Posts
I have to agree with the PPs about picking your battles. The NICU nurses can be your best friends or your worst enemies. When DD was in the NICU for 10 days, I don't think I saw a neonatologist once - it was all nurses. So it was important for us to be on the nurses' good side so they could advocate for DD's discharge. NICU nurses are angels IMO, but they are human and have a lot of power!<br><br>
I couldn't tell from your post if your baby is already here, but if not, you may want to inquire with your hospital ahead of time if they even routinely do vaccinate in the unit. My hospital did not, and it was never an issue. They also did not circumcise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,526 Posts
We had no real issues with the NICU either, but they did make me sign a release. I never said we don't vax, I said we don't believe in vaxing infants. I led them to believe we would vax after age 2, but I had some nosy nurses who pushed me for a reason. They still respected my decision. I also make a stink about bottles, formula and pacifiers. My DD only had breastmilk and when I was sleeping they had to finger feed her my milk... no bottles. They were very respectful of my wishes all around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,526 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BetsyNY</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15426385"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This may not be welcome advice, but I'm going to say it anyway--pick your battles. That's just my take, anyway.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
This would be what I'd suggest too. I would make sure my kids got breastmilk as much as humanly possible, no one touched my sons penis, and no one vaccinated my child...but I would let slide organic soaps and the like, you want the nurses to like you, trust me, so don't make their jobs any harder than it already is, and having to remember to use special soaps, lotions, diapers, etc is making their life harder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,539 Posts
Just echoing all the other responses!<br><br>
I told them no Heb B when dd2 was born, no problem. The day before they were releasing her they asked about vaxs and I said No thanks (expecting a fight) but I got none. They were respectful in telling me when my frozen stash was getting low and asked me if I would like them to supplement with formula.<br><br>
I brought in the special diapers (7th gen or something) and put them at the bottom of the bed and they used them. They also used water and soft cloths for wipes, not regular wipes.<br><br>
All in all, even though they were very strict about some things, they respected my choices!<br><br>
FYI Dd2 was in a Level 3 NICU for 3 months.<br><br><br>
ETA I had brought in a list for my delivery and the aftercare of dd2 and they kept it in her folder the whole time! (it said no vax, no this, no that) I just crossed off the ones like the soaps and lotions, PP was right about picking the battles.<br><br>
GOOD LUCK!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,948 Posts
Also keep in mind that while you may have a handful of nurses over and over again, you will likely also have some nurses just once, depending on the length of your child's stay in the unit and if they are in the critical care section or "step-down" side. Both my kids started in critical care and then moved to step-down of the same NICU, and had different sets of nurses.<br><br>
DS was in the NICU for 6 weeks and had one nurse very often (a very kind man, who was still working there 4 years later when we had DD <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">). The rest of the time, it was hit or miss if we knew who was assigned to DS that day.<br><br>
With DD's 10 day stay, I think we only had the same nurse twice. She may have had repeats during the night shift, but we weren't there then.<br><br>
Moral of the story...your child may end up having dozens of different nurses during his/her stay.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,122 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>heatherdeg</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15426139"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><b>Well, I'm in Mainstream, USA but because my pregnancy was high-risk, I was in a hospital that had a large and high-level NICU. They never even thought to consider vaxing him. They knew we didn't want any shots, but seriously--they never said word one about</b> it. And mine had no surgeries (although he had a chest tube and feeding tube).<br><br>
And forget soy milk: if you are running low on breastmilk, TELL ME! Mine got breastmilk only in his tube and they heavily encouraged it because they knew it was best for his health. Of course, this shocked me given where I live.<br><br>
You need to keep in mind that at the end of the day, you're the parent. Period. Find a pediatrician NOW that you feel confident will support your desire not to vax and the rest of your parenting decisions. That's who they're going to call for consults if they can't get you.<br><br>
And don't assume they're going to push you. I was stunned at my experience. I'm still stunned. You may run into a know-it-all nurse or two but you might find that the NICU staff is supportive overall. Or they may at least know their place in the parenting decisions.<br><br>
Since I have no idea which you will face, I also want to remind you to hold fast to what's in your heart and don't let anyone bully you into second-guessing yourself. I did. It was a mistake that almost killed my son because he had an undetected immune deficiency such that the vaxes almost killed him. I allowed myself to second-guess my instincts because I felt like I didn't have "enough" research to argue with. My son is now 6yo and I no longer feel the need to provide explanations for my decisions. I'm the parent and it's my legal right to make these decisions. The law doesn't dictate that I provide explanations for those decisions. Don't feel like you need to defend yours if you're not comfortable doing so or if it's just a gut feeling. That actually IS enough.<br><br>
Hugs to you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"></div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
THe bolded was true for us, as well. After discharge, they really "encouraged " vaxxing - both the specialists and the ped, but since I hadn't vaxxed one of my older sons they understood where I stood.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
My son was in the NICU for 5 weeks. Once he was no longer critical, they asked us about vaccinating and we just told them we will do any vaccinations after he is discharged through his peds. They were 100% fine with that answer.<br>
Best of luck to you.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,834 Posts
I should add that vaxing my ds happened after he was discharged with bullying from my ped. I had been in the hospital since 30wks--when I was just starting to look for a ped, and then he was born at 35wks and then we spent the next 6wks with me recovering from severe pre-eclampsia (so I wasn't looking then, either)... so we went with the ped that my peri referred us to.<br><br>
But like I said: the NICU was better than I could've ever imagined.<br><br>
And really, I think most of the people working in the NICU are sensitive to the fact that you as parents are dealing with a lot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,900 Posts
Saw this in new posts. I agree with picking your battles. FWIW, in our NICU, they didn't use wipes anyway - just warm water on gauze pads. And I'm pretty sure if I had brought in my own baby wash and kept it in their isolette(s), the nurses would've happily used it, at least most of the time, assuming I just said "this is what we like to use" rather than "do not use your disgusting chemical-laden drek on my baby."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,931 Posts
my two preemies weren't vaccinated at all until later in life(and actually my youngest is 2 and has only had 2 vaccines and they are both in the last month). it was never an issue. they mentioned vaccines and I remember saying something to the effect of, "oh we won't be vaccinating but thank you!" That was it. It was brought up once more before discharge but only because we allowed synagis before her discharge but declined everything else. They never pushed or made me sign anything. I had to sign to do the synagis though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,185 Posts
As a former NICU nurse, I would like to say that it is all about approach. Start by calling the NICU where you are going to deliver and ask if you can bring in special diapers/wipes, etc. If you bring them in and stock your daughters isolette with them, the NICU nurses will use them, but you will have to keep up with what your child needs. The nurses don't pick the brands the hospital has, but use what they have, so do not blame them for using chemically laden drak.<br><br>
Most NICUs won't consider vaxing until discharge, and you can just say you do not want to vax until your are home and will follow up with your ped regarding what she needs. The NICU nurses don't relly want to poke your baby any more. BM should not be a problem, just ask the doc to wite an order for EBM or Soy formula if EBM is not available. I would stop in at the hospital milk bank to keep up with how much milk they had on hand. I never had a problem with giving her EBM, but they did sometimes add supplements to my milk.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
This is all such good advice! Thanks so much for the input. It's all a bit overwhelming and I hope I am just being overly fearful. The nurses in the NICU I've met so far have been wonderful. I think I'm just suspicious of hospitals and modern medical practices in general. The fact that these people will be saving my son's life once he's born is helping to cure me of that and I'm gaining more respect for those in the medical profession every day. I know they're not all big meanies who want to put us all on drugs and do other things that end up harming people in the long run. I can admit to having some unfair, preconceived notions! I think the situation in general has me feeling like I have no control and the fear can spiral out of control sometimes. Because my son isn't born yet I haven't been able to talk to anyone about a lot of the questions I have. And my list of questions keeps growing. I will definitely be calling on Monday and seeing if we can't get hooked up with a pediatrician now so I can let some of these worries go. Thank you again, guys!
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top